Georgia basketball falls short of rivalry win at Georgia Tech, 79-77

McCamish Pavilion as Georgia basketball plays a tight game against Georgia Tech on Dec. 6, 2022 in Atlanta (Photo: Jack Leo, DawgNation).
Jack Leo, DawgNation

ATLANTA – Georgia basketball head coach Mike White was inches away from a chance at winning his first rivalry game with Georgia Tech on Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs (7-3) had a chance, but with seven seconds remaining and trailing by a point, Terry Roberts attempted to inbound a pass that was stolen away by Jalon Moore.

Roberts was then called for charging on Georgia’s last possession, sealing the 79-77 win for the Yellow Jackets (6-3) on Tuesday night at a rowdy McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta.

A Georgia win would have been the program’s third straight road win over Tech, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1930.

Frank Ansalem, Kario Oquendo, and MA Moncrieffe all played their first game in over a week, but Jusuan Holt and KyeRon Lindsay were sidelined by illnesses.

“I told our guys, ‘You’ve been hurt, you’ve been sick, you’ve been hurt, you’ve been sick,’” White said. “‘I’m proud to be in the foxhole with you guys today.’”

It is UGA’s second straight loss to the Yellow Jackets, as the Bulldogs fell 88-78 in Athens last year to break a five-year winning streak against their big-city rivals.

White said there was a difference between Tuesday’s outcome and that of Georgia’s first road loss of the season, an 81-71 loss at Wake Forest on Nov. 11.

“We went on the road in this league, it seems like a year ago,” he said. “It wasn’t very pretty and we had a chance in this one. We talk about growth every day in our program ... and we improved tonight.

“I thought we were much better today than we were our last couple of games at home.”

Roberts led the team in scoring, posting 16 points with 4 rebounds and 7 assists.

The two teams traded punches for the majority of the second half. From the 9:49 mark to 7:10 , Georgia and Georgia Tech were especially electric, both shooting 4-of-4 with nine lead changes. The game was tied at 73-73 with just 3:58 remaining.

That was when the Bulldogs took a small lead. They held the Yellow Jackets scoreless for four and a half minutes to take a 77-73 advantage.

Georgia Tech scored with a 3-pointer at the 1:04 mark and a layup with 23 seconds left to recalim the lead, 78-77.

The Bulldogs did not score the final 2:12 of the game.

Both offenses attacked in the paint throughout the night, scoring a combined 92 points inside.

The Bulldogs attempted just six 3-pointers in the first half, as the Yellow Jacket defense stayed active and strong on the perimeter.

Oquendo dominated the first half offensively, posting 13 of points and five rebounds through the first 20 minutes as UGA took a 39-34 lead into the half.

Georgia will take an 11-day break during final exam season before taking on Notre Dame in the third annual Holiday Hoopsgiving event on Dec. 18 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

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